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How to Tell if Bad Marketing Is Causing Poor Sales

While most products fail, they shouldn't fail because of marketing.

"The big wild card is the need people have for the product. That trumps everything," states best-selling author Lonny Kocina, CEO of Media Relations Agency. "If a product works well, even bad marketing can't kill it. But if people don't need the product, the best marketing in the world isn't going to save it."

Kocina, author of "The CEO's Guide to Marketing," explains how to tell the difference. His book has been an Amazon best-seller since it was released in 2017 and was a 2018 Axiom Business Book Silver Award winner.

Kocina says most marketers don't know enough about marketing to understand whether it is responsible for a sales problem or whether it is accelerating a product's natural lifecycle. "If a product doesn't work, you're going to find out faster when you're using a good marketing process," he explains. "So, when someone in the room tries to blame marketing for all the problems, you'd better have your facts in order.

"Does your team truthfully understand marketing? Were you on point with your messaging and your positioning? Did you use the promotional mix and schedule correctly? Did you cycle through it as you should? If you can say yes to all that, and the product didn't work, then you can say it wasn't your marketing." 

The six-step process designed to increase marketing results 

In his fully illustrated book, Kocina outlines a six-step process designed to dramatically increase your marketing results. "I call it Strategically Aimed Marketing, or SAM 6, for short. This process will assure creative people stay focused, on track and doing their best work."

The SAM 6 steps are:

1. Gain competence in marketing concepts and principles. "Wouldn't it be great if we all spoke the same marketing language? Dentists know bicuspids from incisors. Lawyers know affidavits from briefs. A competent marketer has a clear understanding and a working knowledge of marketing concepts and principles."

2. Developing code sheets. "Code sheets are a means of gathering and documenting important information about your company and the products it promotes."

3. Select channels. "The promotional mix channels you choose to employ depend on many variables, including your message, the market and your resources."

4. Schedule calendar. "Your marketing calendar is a trusted guide to ensure that you cycle through each product and its primary value points with a maximum flow of on-point promotional messages."

5. Develop a control template. "Your control template provides the guidelines for your writers, designers and other creative staff to follow without losing sight of the marketing necessities"

6. Assemble your creative team. "You need to assemble the right people for the job, and then let these creative souls work their magic within the parameters you set."

Kocina also says those who follow these steps will feel more empowered by their marketing.

"SAM 6 brings a clarity and process to this tension-filled field. "I've been CEO of Media Relations Agency for three decades. I've worked with hundreds of clients across the country. I get to see what's behind the scenes. I can tell you, the companies that follow a logical process are the ones getting the most bang for their marketing dollars."

To access free SAM 6 tools, go to